Locust Mendes - 7 Levels
01 - Power Extreme
02 - 7 Lords
03 - ...A God but where?
04 - My Black Heart
05 - Arkitekt
F: Guitars, Bass, Drums & Voice
Recorded at 7th Level October 2005
Originally Released by UKEM Records
Released on Torn Flesh Records, August, 2012
On Twitter @tornfleshrecs
November 21, 2012
Locust Mendes - 7 Levels Review
Starting with the vocals, let me first say that these, while perhaps not the best vocals I've ever heard, are good, not because of originality, but because of blend. They are done by three different vocalists, yet still manage to be understandable and sound good. To be honest, the vocalists (for the most part) sound exactly alike, but there are some variations in the styles. The vocals are constant; they never falter or choke. Mid-range to high vocals, accompanied by reverb, play for most of the album.
The guitar is straight up groovy. Groovy riffs, bass heavy and deep power chords… to be perfectly honest this sounds more like the rhythm guitar in a technical death metal band then a traditional black metal band. Still, it works, and quite well. While the chords maintain a more death metal sound, the solos are where you can hear the black metal influences. These middle range solo and lead parts are made up of clear, minor, defined lines and tremolo picking. No amazing solos or anything, but the solos and leads add more depth to the pieces all the same. To add to the album, an acoustic guitar, calm and mysterious, contrasts the electric guitar in the last piece "Arkitekt." That song is personally my favorite, just because of that part. Although it's a short part, it adds a lot to the album, and helps fulfill the potential of the music.
There's not much to say about the bass. As it usually is with black metal, the bass is next to nonexistent. While there is a bass, and it's rather heavy for black metal, the bass blends with the guitar so much that you can barely tell it's there. Perhaps add more to the bass part then merely mimicking guitar?
The drums are basically perfect rhythm-wise. Accurate, straight notes propel the album forward. Black beats primarily, the beats are so perfect I wonder if they're programmed. This seems very likely; regardless, the kit sounds decent. Only complaint would be that long passages of the same beat can get laborious, but this isn't that big of a problem for this album.
Overall, I would say this album has some stuff going for it. It has some pretty obvious transitions in parts of the songs, a technique that I like, so it's varied. It has reverb -primarily on the vocals- which adds to the "black metal" aspect, although the album could benefit from more reverb throughout the album. With choruses and creepy singing children, this album is basically Halloween in mp3 form. Very easy listening, melodic, yet still maintaining enough roughness to keep you interested. Worth a listen, the whole thing about 20 minutes, take some time, plug in your headphones, and get sucked into 7 Levels.